Preparing to Study Abroad    Most recent entry: February 2, 2010

When you decide you want to study abroad you have a long process, filled with a lot of work and many challenges, ahead of you. Dean, a former student of mine, wants to share his own experiences with this process. He is hoping that his story may help others to meet their dreams.

Dean’s Tale
(in his own words, with modifications to make the ideas flow more smoothly)

November 9, 2009

We can help students who want to study abroad. Now I will talk about my experiences with the application and preparation.

I began to prepare this in September, 2008. You must make sure you have enough time to prepare. It is a trouble thing that my start time (September, 2008) is not early but a bit late for preparing (I should have started January, 2008 or earlier).

It is best to leave yourself 18 months to prepare so that you can have enough time to take GRE and TOEFL test and write all kinds of materials to support your admission. Generally speaking, preparing for the GRE needs 6 months to 1 year, at least. Preparing for the TOEFL needs 4 to 6 months (no less than 3 mouths).

During this long process, you will encounter all kinds of things that you never met before, so you must have a prepared mind. It is not an easy thing.

In addition, if you plan to study abroad, you must prepare to get more involved in doing academic research so that it can support your admission. I did all of these things at almost the same time, so my life in those days was full of hardship.

So I remind you: the earlier you prepare, the better.

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November 18, 2009          Previous Entry

My time is tight, so today I will briefly talk about academic research in your undergraduate university. This is very important for helping you to get admitted to a foreign university and get the suitable offer.

First, you must understand what is your interest. Your interest is very important for your further study. If you choose a program which you dislike, that is a worse thing. You will not have any passion and motivation to research this field. Therefore, based on your understanding about the program which you like and would like to decide to choose as your career, you choose a field as your research field.

Next, you have to contact an advisor whose research interest can match your interest. You can describe your goal to study abroad and that you wish to follow him or her to do some academic research. Generally speaking, a Professor will allow you to follow him or her.

You must be prepared to experience many difficulties and challenges. Please remember, never giving up should be your habit. Though it is not easy, if you can write a paper and get it published. This can prove your strong ability and skill. Whether you have a paper or not, experience in the lab and work regarding academic research also is very important to your admission. You can write such experiences into your CV or resume.

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February 2, 2010          Previous Entry

Today, I would like to talk about GPA (Grade Point Average). In your application to study abroad, GPA plays an important role in your admission. Almost all universities abroad require a good GPA from an applicant. In the USA, if you are applying for a PhD degree, your GPA should be more than 3.5 (at least 3.5). If you are applying for an MS degree, your GPA should not be less than 3.0. Though it may be possible that you can be admitted if your GPA is less than MS 3.0 OR PhD 3.5, the possibility is very, very small.
Therefore, the key is how to get a high GPA. First, you must learn your each and every course and work harder and harder, even when you are a freshman. You must make sure that your average score for all of your courses is not less than 80/100, and preferably more than 85/100.

If your GPA for the first two years of your university life was not ideal, I will tell you that you also have a chance to improve it. In Jiangnan University, at the beginning of the third year of your university life, our university will provide a chance of re-learn and retake-test. You must go for it! Ok, good luck boys and girls.

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